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Emergency eye wash basins, showers and gas taps

Submitted by sat on 10 November 2015

In Brief:

Schools should develop their own maintenance and servicing schedule for all emergency equipment, plant and mechanical fixtures, electrical and electronic devices, etc. based on site-specific risk assessments carried out for each separate area.

Eye wash basins and showers

Design, installation and maintenance of emergency eyewash and shower equipment in any Australian facility should comply with ‘Australian Standard AS 4775: 2007 Emergency eyewash and shower equipment’. This specifies:

Note: A written site-specific risk assessment can be undertaken in order to change the frequency of how often this task is performed.

The standard does not specify the qualifications of the person conducting the weekly activation or annual test, but does state that all relevant instructions from the manufacturer should be accessible to the person providing the maintenance.

Gas taps

'Australian standard AS/NZS 2243.6-2010 Safety in laboratories: Plant and equipment aspect' states that all maintenance shall be conducted by competent persons in accordance with the equipment manufacturer’s instructions and the procedures for the laboratory or organisation.

There is a requirement under workplace health and safety legislations to ensure that plant and equipment at a workplace should be inspected and maintained by a competent person. Whilst there are no specific requirements for certification of testing of gas taps, schools should establish a regular and documented servicing schedule.

See below for further links and recommendations from Science ASSIST.

Additional information

Emergency eyewash and showers

Best practice requires staff and students to use approved and appropriate eye, face and body protective equipment and clothing when there is a reasonable probability of a hazard or injury to eye, face and/or body exposure.

Emergency eye wash and safety showers are a part of the emergency response or first aid plan in the unfortunate event of an accident. Therefore, it is imperative that this equipment is kept serviced and maintained to ensure optimal performance when needed in an emergency situation. Each emergency shower/eyewash facility should be identified with a visible sign and staff and students inducted in their correct use.

Science ASSIST recommends the following for all plumbed emergency showers and eyewash facilities.

Science ASSIST has previously answered a few other questions relating to emergency eyewash and safety showers, see:

Safety Shower Requirements

LAB SAFETY

The following link has detailed and comprehensive information on how to carry out inspections or compliance tests on these devices. It also contains a few example templates for recording inspections which are listed in Appendix 1 to 5. EMERGENCY EYEWASH STATION AND SAFETY SHOWER GUIDELINES / University of Wollongong. https://staff.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@ohs/documents/doc/uow148621.pdf

Gas taps

All equipment, including gas taps, should be maintained in good working order. However, it is a reality in schools that equipment can be subject to mischievous and sometimes malicious intent by students (e.g., deliberate insertion of objects into gas fittings). Therefore, Science ASSIST recommends the following actions.

Science ASSIST has previously answered a similar question relating to testing gas shutoffs see: Testing emergency off buttons for power and gas

References:

Safe Work Australia. 2014. Work Health and Safety Regulations. Safe Work Australia website. http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/model-whs-regulations

Standards Australia 2007. AS 4775-2007 Emergency eyewash and shower equipment. Sydney, Australia.

Standards Australia. 2010. AS/NZS 2243 Safety in Laboratories, Part 6: 2010 Plant and equipment aspects. Sydney, Australia.